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Penn State vs Utah Prediction, Odds and College Football Betting Picks for Rose Bowl

The College Football Bowl Season will conclude on Monday evening with none other than “The Granddaddy of Them All”. From the parade of roses earlier in the day to the backdrop provided by the San Gabriel Mountains and the setting sun during the game, the Rose Bowl certainly knows how to provide unmatched pageantry. Of course, there’s also the game itself, and this year’s matchup between the Penn State Nittany Lions and the Utah Utes figures to be a doozy. The Penn State vs Utah odds and college football betting picks are declaring this game a virtual toss-up.

The following game preview provides the college football betting odds, trends and FEI Index ratings before sharing our official Penn State vs Utah prediction for the Rose Bowl matchup.

Penn State vs Utah Prediction | College Football Betting Picks

Rose Bowl Game
Penn State Nittany Lions (10-2, 7-2 Big Ten) vs. Utah Utes (10-3, 7-2 Pac-12)
Date: Monday, January 2, 2023
Time: 5 p.m. EST
Venue: Rose Bowl Stadium — Pasadena, CA
Coverage: ESPN

One would be hard-pressed to find a team with two more respectable losses than Penn State. The Nittany Lions steamrolled the majority of their competition in Big Ten Conference play this season with nine of their ten wins coming by double-digits. Penn State’s only defeats came at the hands of Michigan and Ohio State. Of course, those two teams went on to comprise one-half of the four-team College Football Playoff. James Franklin’s squad was particularly stout down the stretch, winning its final four games by margins of 31, 30, 45 and 21 points, respectively.

Utah sustained a crushing loss to Florida in the season-opener but was able to bounce back with four consecutive wins. The Utes then split back-to-back games against UCLA and USC in mid-October. Despite coming up short on the road against Oregon late in the year, Utah was the beneficiary of a three-way tie for second in the Pac-12 standings and qualified for the conference championship game. Kyle Whittingham’s team got the better of USC a second time in Las Vegas to repeat as Pac-12 champs. The Utes will be seeking redemption on Monday after coming up just short in the Rose Bowl a year ago.

Cameron Rising Penn State vs Utah prediction odds college football betting picks Rose Bowl Game predictions
Credit: AP Photo/Rick Scuteri

Penn State vs Utah College Football Betting Picks and Odds

All college football betting odds for Penn State vs Utah can be found at BetOnline Sportsbook.

Moneyline: PSU: (-101) | UTAH: (-119)
Point Spread: PSU: +1 (-110) | UTAH: -1 (-110)
Total: 52.5 — Over: (-115) | Under: (-105)

College Football FEI Ratings

The following table shares the Fremeau Efficiency Index rankings for both teams involved in this Rose Bowl matchup. The purpose of the FEI ratings is to represent the per-possession scoring advantage that a team would be expected to have on a neutral field against an average opponent. The rankings for offense and defense are out of 131 total FBS-level teams.

Fremeau Efficiency Index (FEI) ratings are froFootball Outsiders

TeamOverall FEI (Rk)OFEI (Rk)DFEI (Rk)
Penn State.87 (9)1.08 (15).71 (17)
Utah.88 (8).75 (25)1.08 (5)
  • Nittany Lions are 6-0 ATS in their last six games overall.
  • Five of the Nittany Lions’ last six games against teams with a winning record have gone OVER the total.
  • The OVER is 4-1 in the Nittany Lions’ last five bowl games.
  • Utes are 7-2 ATS in their last nine games against Big Ten Conference opponents.
  • Utes are 11-4 ATS in their last 15 games against teams averaging more than 7.50 passing yards per attempt.
  • The OVER is 7-0 in the Utes’ last seven games against teams averaging less than 12.35 yards per point offensively.
  • Nittany Lions are 6-3 straight up and 7-2 ATS in their last nine matchups against Pac-12 Conference opponents.

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Penn State vs Utah Prediction | College Football Betting Picks

Although there are very few players on either side that won’t be playing in the Rose Bowl, both teams will be without a key contributor. For Penn State, that would be star corner Joey Porter Jr., who has elected to opt out ahead of being a surefire First Round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. The Nittany Lions will also be without receiver Parker Washington and possibly left tackle Olu Fashanu due to injuries.

For Utah, quarterback Cameron Rising will need to pick a new favorite target as tight end Dalton Kincaid has been ruled out of the bowl game with an injury. Kincaid is now the second TE that the Utes have lost to injury after starter Brant Kuithe also had his season cut short several weeks ago. Given how important the position is in Utah’s passing offense, the onus will be on senior Jaylen Dixon to step up.

When it comes to handicapping the Penn State vs Utah odds, the matchup between the Utes’ offense and the Nittany Lions’ defense is very interesting. Rising may not have his two preferred targets, but there are a number of unheralded pass-catchers that could step up. Of course, any Kyle Whittingham-coached team is more than willing to wear opponents down on the ground as well. Micah Bernard and Ja’Quinden Jackson played well in relief of the injured Tavion Thomas late in the season.

Meanwhile, questions still remain about just how good the Penn State defense truly is. The Lions had no trouble shutting down the majority of teams in the Big Ten, but the quality of offense in the conference as a whole was not great. PSU gave up 40+ points to both Michigan and Ohio State, the only two teams on the schedule with offenses better than or on par with Utah’s.

It’s also worth noting that the Nittany Lions struggled to stop the run when facing top-tier ground games this season. Knowing this, one has to feel confident in Utah’s ability to move the chains via the run on Monday. On the contrary, the Utes’ defense was consistently solid against the run all season. If they can limit Penn State’s backfield duo of Nicholas Singleton and Kaytron Allen on the ground and put pressure on Sean Clifford to make plays down the field, they figure to have a great chance of winning.

Add in the added experience and motivation gained from playing in Pasadena a year ago and a fanbase that travels as well as any and it’s hard not to lean toward Utah in this must-see matchup.

UTAH COVERS will be our official college football betting Penn State vs Utah prediction for the Rose Bowl.

For what it’s worth, the ESPN Matchup Predictor gives Utah a 57.4% chance to win this game outright.

Bet: Utah -1 (-110 at BetOnline Sportsbook)

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